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Young ballers impress in Mini-League

Nikolai Burton (with ball) was among several youngsters who impressed at the Mini-League Basketball Classic. (FP)

Nikolai Burton (with ball) was among several youngsters who impressed at the Mini-League Basketball Classic. (FP)

Reigning Division 2 and Under-16 School’s League MVP Andrew Ifill Jr. starred on the opening day Basketball Rally that officially signalled the launch of the SIGNIA Financial Mini-League Basketball Classic at the YMCA on September 5.

Representing Young Ballaz, the Garrison School playmaker combined well with the imposing and impressive 6 foot 8 inch Jadeva Marshall of Alexandra to lead his side to a perfect 3-0 record in the rally that featured seven teams. Marquis Atwell was also outstanding for Young Ballaz.

Another player to catch the eye on the opening day was lanky 6 foot 2 inch junior national Joel Hunte of Harrison College. He scored a rally-high 22 points for Swish.

The following day, Hunte continued to impress, but this time for Harrison College Ballers in the first official games of the tournament. Playing in a strong squad from the Crumpton Street, St. Michael-based school, Hunte led his alma mater to victories in both the Under-17 and Under-20 divisions.

Among the Under-17s, Hunte connected for a game-high 25 points that included four three-pointers and hauled in 10 rebounds to pilot KOLIJ to an easy 64-38 victory over Fastbreaks. They led 37-21 at the half. Hunte was ably assisted by Rashad Downes who contributed 13.

For the Fastbreaks who never really hit their stride, 6 foot 6 inch Jonathan Dottin of Frederick Smith Secondary led with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Alex Green of Ellerslie assisted with eight.

In the Under-20 division, Hunte was again unstoppable, using his all-round game with telling effect in a 57-36 victory for Harrison College over Queen’s College “B”. Hunte had a stat line of 21 points, 13 rebounds, 7 steals and 4 assists. Darion Chandler was equally solid with 12 points and 13 rebounds while Barbados Under-16 national team captain Nicolai Burton also made his presence felt.

For Queen’s College ‘B’, Nykel Wilson scored 11 and Torian Deane had 10 points to go along with 10 rebounds and seven blocks.

Just over 60 young basketballers turned up for the opening day of the rally where chief executive officer of SIGNIA Financial Paul Ashby expressed his satisfaction at the initial response to the return of Mini-League Basketball.

The tournament continues this Saturday at the YMCA, commencing at 9 a.m. and will continue on September 21, 28 and October 5. This Saturday will represent the final opportunity for players and teams to register.


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